Hey hey. Let’s do a final morning news update before everyone breaks out the turkey tomorrow. This will be my last morning news update for a while — I’ll be gone until late December — so I’ll try to make it a good one.
In case you missed the news yesterday, former UCPD officer Ray Tensing will stand trial again for the shooting death of unarmed black motorist Samuel DuBose during a routine traffic stop in July, 2015. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced his decision to seek a retrial — possibly with a change of venue to somewhere like Columbus or Cleveland — on the same murder and manslaughter charges Tensing faced here in Hamilton County. That round of proceedings ended in a mistrial Nov. 12 after jurors couldn’t reach a verdict in the case. Read more about Deters’ announcement and what it means in our news story yesterday.
• Could treating the psychological wounds of witnessing or being victimized by violent crimes like shootings decrease those crimes in the future? That’s what some studies suggest, and a proposal working its way through City Hall could test that hypothesis here. Read more about a plan to put emergency psychological trauma professionals in teams with Cincinnati police and EMT personnel in this week’s news feature.
• Have you ever wanted to save up for something big and found a little cash laying around that simultaneously made you feel slightly closer to your goal while driving home just how far away you are from getting there? (This happened to me recently with a huge stash of quarters I forgot about and a new pair of Jordans I want, so yeah). Anyway, Cincinnati and Hamilton County are in something of the same position, though the couch cushion change in question is actually $10 million and the new pair of kicks is the Western Hills Viaduct. The state of Ohio is poised to give the city and county that money toward a badly-needed replacement for the 83-year-old bridge, but it’s just the start of a long slog to raise the $254 million needed to replace the long span connecting Cincinnati’s uptown neighborhood to its west side. 70,000 cars drive across the structurally-obsolete bridge, which was constructed at the same time the city’s landmark Union Terminal was. It’s an iconic piece of infrastructure here, but it’s also crumbling, state inspection reports show. It’s still safe to drive on — for now — but the city and county would like it replaced by 2025. They’re looking to help from the federal government’s FASTLANE grant program for some of that money, hoping a big boost from the feds can move the project along.
• Oh great. White nationalist posters have found their way to local college campuses, including Miami University's main campus in Oxford. One hung in a window on campus features two white people with babies being threatened by twisted black hands labeled with references to Black Lives Matter and gay, lesbian and trans rights. The poster reads, “Not seeing the America you want? Start changing it today.” Another, hung on a public bulletin board outside a library, reads, “Tired of anti-white propaganda in college? You aren’t alone” and directs readers to a racist and anti-Jewish website. Miami officials say they’re removing the posters as they find them and that they may have come from off-campus sources, not necessarily students.
• Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin was in Covington yesterday with 200 Northern Kentucky business leaders for the groundbreaking of a new 110-unit market rate apartment complex at Duveneck Square. Those apartments are being developed by the Cincinnati-based NorthPointe Group and will also feature ground-floor commercial space in the block-long, four-story building. Officials say it’s been three years in the making and should be ready for residents by December next year.
• Finally, a little national news that may very well have implications for your cash flow and sneaker-savings plans. A federal judge in Texas has issued a temporary injunction on the Obama administration’s new overtime rules. Those rules, set to go into effect Dec. 1, increased the income threshold for overtime eligibility for some white collar workers from around $23,000 a year to more than $46,000 a year. Those making under that amount stood to received overtime pay under the new U.S. Department of Labor rules whenever they worked more than 40 hours a week, but U.S. Eastern District Court Judge Amos Mazzant III ruled that such a rule shifted consideration on who receives overtime from a question of duties to a question of salary, going against overtime laws passed by Congress. That ruling is a response to a lawsuit from 21 states including Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The states, as well as a number of business group lobbyists, claim the costs of the overtime law would make it difficult for businesses and state entities to avoid laying off employees. But there’s a counter-argument — that increased wages would result in greater demand, stoking business and tax receipts and making up for added manpower expenditures. The Labor Department has the option of appealing the ruling to a higher court.